HISTORY

Architecture

As Vrnjačka Banja was founded on the territory of the village of Vrnjci, the existing construction style was based on folk architecture traditions. With the arrival of visitors, especially doctors and engineers who studied or came from abroad, the appearance of the place changed, as they brought part of the aesthetic norms from the place where they studied or came from. The decision of prominent people in Serbia to raise buildings in Vrnjci encouraged more intensive construction of luxury holiday and rental houses, villas, and hotels.

The way of attributing determinant “villa” to buildings in Vrnjačka Banja is also specific. The name, which has been associated with more luxurious buildings since the Roman period, is associated in Banja with all buildings for rental, even with one bed, regardless of their size.

Looking at photos and old postcards with buildings, one cannot but see the arranged yard, except at those buildings erected on the alignment line within the public area. Thus, it can be assumed that for the people of Vrnjačka Banja and those in love with it, the ambiance was what contributed to adding the determinant “villa” in front of the name of the building.

In the wider central part of the town, in the area defined as the spa area of ​​Vrnjačka Banja, several groups can be singled out in terms of stylistic features of architecture, depicting its historical development.

Separating the spa zones/regions from the territory of the village of Vrnjci imposed the type of living both in the zones and outside them. Rural buildings, clumsily remodeled, became the initial forms of collective accommodation.

This type of construction, which fortunately has been preserved today in the spa core, is Vidaković’s estate. It comprises the “Moravka” house of the Moravian style, with a porch and arches, where the family used to live, a guest house with a basement, a farm, and a stone barn. A modern ground floor building was added, villa “Bor,” which was used for rentals.

The first forms of collective accommodation made of solid material were inns. These dwellings for rent were elongated foundation houses with a porch accessed from all the rooms and one room for the kitchen and the owner. Only the “Brđini” from 1904, with a walled porch, and revamped inns “Lipa” and “Kaća” have been preserved today.

Along with the inns, by adding auxiliary rooms on both sides so that the shortened porch remains in the center, the so-called “typically spa architecture” was created, first of ground floor type, and then with the first “Vojvodina,” “Do-ra- floor. Examples of such architecture are villas: “Zrak,” “Zora,” “Avala,” “Zdravlje,” “Gradištanac,” “Kosovo,” mi”…

Other beautiful examples of the most rudimentary core of the house with a protruding porch, which was sometimes turned into a room by walling, are villas “Desa,” “Višnja,” and “Taraboš.”

In Banja, you can also find examples of Byzantine-Balkan houses with protruding porch, built from a combination of stone and brick rows with striking joints, for example, villas: “Zlatibor,” “Mir,” and Šumadija,” or without it, villas: “Grlica,” “Slavuj,” “Carić.” These buildings were erected on Crkveno brdo , a hill of romantic beauty, which is considered a special unit due to its ambient and architectural values. As such, it is protected and declared a cultural and historical asset of great importance for the Republic of Serbia.

In addition to these, pseudo-classicist buildings were erected in Banja, such as hotels and villas: “Sotirović,” “Beograd,” “Soldatović,” “Železničar,” “Palas,” “Belimarković,” and “Poštanski dom”.

However, the oldest and most representative building of this group is the summer house of General Jovan Belimarković. It is built on a hillside overlooking a hot spring and dominates the surroundings. It was built on the model of the northern Italian rural castles of that time, according to the conceptual design of his nephew, a civil engineer, Pavle Denić, designed and supervised by Austrian architect Franz Winter. The castle was bought from the heir of Jovan Belimarković to be converted into a museum, gallery and a smaller concert hall.

Secession is represented by author solutions such as “Arnoljević,” “Jela,” and “Dom dr D. Radića.” Rich stylized floral and geometric sculptures decorate the facades of the buildings. Balconies with wrought iron railings complement the playfulness of the masses.

It is difficult to find a place in Serbia where the “modern” style, with its number and layout on a limited area, fits better into the unit than in Vrnjacka Banja. This style of purely geometrized masses and lines, without decorative ornaments, fit perfectly into the stylistic diversity of the surrounding buildings and vegetation. Modern buildings, mainly intended to serve as smaller family residential buildings, did not lose any of their intimacy and personal characteristics due to the austerity of the masses. Only two buildings have a boarding purpose: “Zoraida” and “Miletić.” This type includes villas “Blaznavac”, “Hortenzija”, “Ljilja”, “Zosik”, “Ebert”, “Vetka”, “Stojadinović”, “Ideal”, “Njujork”, “Stražilovo”, “Bane” and others.


A special type of boarding and family villas group with a broken mansard roof includes villas “Splendor,” “Jugoslavija,” “Luksor,” and “Mica.”


The influence of our folk, but also alpine architecture, high, sloping roofs, and post and pane decorative element is reflected in the villas “Teokarević – Kopaonik,” “Stojanović – Vračar,” “Maruška,” and “Moja želja.”


The unique charm of the Vrnjačka Banja narrower core was enhanced by the pavilions at the springs, which were unfortunately removed, as well as the pavilions used as dairy stores and confectioneries, shops, libraries, and the music pavilion, which were partially returned.

What they have in common is a harmonious construction adapted to the purpose, with large openings making the building transparent and light, wood as a primary building material, richly decorated gables, and in most cases domed roof.


The ambient jewels are also the old public fountains in the park area. The oldest of them, Belimarković’s fountain, was set up in 1986 and was the first Vrnjačka Banja drinking water fountain, donated by General Belimarković. The other initially seven, and now six fountains, were set up in the busiest places. They are composite-type made of profiled stone parts which, when joined, give a somewhat chunky pyramidal shape, with brass details and a candelabrum on top.

This typological division of buildings does not include pure style buildings (except modern), but falls under the so-called “electricism,” a mixture of different styles, of which we took the most numerous and predominant elements as the determinant and bearer of style in Vrnjačka Banja architecture.

The buildings are arranged with respect for proportionality in relation to neighboring buildings and the natural environment. There is a notable desire for each of the buildings, regardless of its purpose, to get its own character, individuality, architecture, and facade solution while at the same time being in harmony with the neighboring building and the natural environment.


Despite the mass construction and the influence of private capital on it, one of the peculiarities of the architectural heritage was created and preserved – to adhere to the basic requirements of a spa and health resort.

The buildings are arranged with respect for proportionality in relation to neighboring buildings and the natural environment. There is a notable desire for each of the buildings, regardless of its purpose, to get its own character, individuality, architecture, and facade solution while at the same time being in harmony with the neighboring building and the natural environment.